Sunday, May 2, 2010
What A Finch Knows
We live in the Tiki Room. I swear. It's just birds, birds, everywhere. They're all so happy and chirpy and noisy and busy. We have speakers mounted on the wall outside, and every year finches build a nest in the crook between the speaker and the wall. And every year after they lay eggs, we quit barbecuing until after the eggs have hatched and the chicks have flown away. Finches are so skittery, and since us going on the deck makes them freak out we just say all right, all right, you can have the deck. After they're gone, I always take the nest down (and hose off all their lovely droppings). Then the next spring, there they come again, chirping and chattering and discussing with the in-laws the location and view. (Or whatever it is finches discuss when chirping amongst themselves.) Then they start with the nest building, bringing up twigs and grass and paper, and soon they're settled in for another round of egg laying. Until last year. Last year, I just left the nest up. I figured, I'd save those chirpy little finches some nest-building trouble. After all, word's been spread throughout the finchdom, that our speakers are the place to nest. The chirpers arrived right on schedule, perched on the rail discussing the venue -- I mean location -- for days. They discussed it with the in-laws and the out-laws and random finches from Finchdom. Everybody chirped in with an opinion. And then...they decided to build a nest in the vines instead. Hello? Was there something wrong with the existing nest? Was it not good enough? Silly finches. Then today, beneath the fluttering feathers of the Tiki Room, my sons were the ones chattering away. Friday night they'd driven 100 miles to spend $40 on a thrashed (Epiphone) Les Paul Jr. electric guitar. (Both boys have guitars. Several, in fact. New ones. They were gifts. From us. I know. We paid.) But they came home with this thrashed guitar like it was the ultimate treasure. They were all a-twitter with what they were going to do to restore it. They talked through the night. Drew pictures. Discussed. And today they took it apart, sanded it down, sprayed it white. They're going to install and adjust pick-ups and electronics, fix the bridge, rewire the knobs, sign the headstock...they're going to make it theirs. I have never seen my boys work like this together. And I have never seen them happier. So what I've concluded from this is that those chirpy little finches do know what they're doing. No matter what others give you, there's really nothing like building your own.